Stunning 1849 Dime, PR66
1849 10C PR66 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. The NGC-graded 1849
Premium Gem proof dime not only stands out as one of the rarest
pieces in the Kaufman collection, it is perhaps also the
finest known '49 proof dime, or at least one of the two finest. We
are unsure of the latter point because we are not able to locate a
PCGS PR66 auction appearance. If the NGC and PCGS specimens are the
same coin, then the Kaufman piece is indeed the finest known! NGC
has also certified a PR65 example in addition to the Kaufman piece;
PCGS has seen no other 1849 proof dimes.
Considered the Finest Known
With respect to the rarity level of the 1849 proof dime, Breen (1988) suggests there are possibly four pieces extant, while Akers (1997) estimates six to eight coins "at most." David Lawrence Rare Coins Auctions says: the actual number is somewhere between those two estimates, "around 6." Our roster identifies five examples:
1. PR66 NGC. The Kaufman coin. James A. Stack, Sr. Collection (Stack's, 1/1990), lot 86.
2. PR65 NGC. The Richmond Sale, Part III (David Lawrence, 3/2005), lot 1243; Heritage (6/2005), lot 5378.
3. PR65 NGC. Heritage (3/2006), lot 458.
4. Very Choice Proof or better. John Jay Pittman Collection (David Akers, 10/1997), lot 602.
5. Choice Brilliant Proof. Floyd T. Starr (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 366.
There is an ongoing controversy as to whether the 1849 proof dime is an 1849/8 overdate. Brian Greer (1992) says of his variety 103 1849 dime: "9 over 8. An obvious overdate is listed by Breen (Breen-3256). Proof only." Stack's catalogers, however, in their discussion of the Starr specimen (number 5 above), write: "Repunched date variety. Not an 1849/8 'overdate' as described by Breen (Breen 3256 should be de-listed)."
Seated Liberty dime specialist Gerry Fortin writes about this controversy on his web site, www.seateddimevarieties.com: "In 1849, the mint changed the logotype from the large dates of 1847 and 1848 to the smaller date punch found on 1849 dies. Acknowledging this fact, it is difficult to justify that the date on the 1849 obverse die would be an 1849/8 overdate given the large date punch of 1848. If one examines the date positions of the 1849 proof die against that of the 1848 dies, with the larger date punch, it is immediately evident that the 1849/8 overdate theory should be seriously questioned."
Attractive sky-blue, gray, and rose-pink toning displays a uniform pattern on the Kaufman-Stack coin, and an attentive strike yields virtual completeness on the design elements. Both sides have been well cared for, further accentuating the coin's already stunning eye appeal. Faint horizontal roller marks are visible on the central obverse, and strike-throughs between star 4 and the rim and between NE of ONE identify the coin. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful pieces in the Kaufman collection.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three. (NGC ID# 23C5, PCGS# 4736)
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three ]
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